Luckily for Rachael Anderson, this isn't her senior season.
The Heritage junior scored a 9.325 on the vault in Saturday's Concordia Lutheran Sectional for gymnastics to earn a spot in Friday's Huntington North Regional. It's not what she's capable of, but it is a placing she's thankful for because all season the junior has been dealing with a broken wing on a vertebra in her back.
Though she's got the back of an old man, Anderson still has her competitive drive and plenty of support. When she nailed her vault on Saturday, most of the fans and almost all of the gymnasts cheered her performance.
``It has affected my floor, and bars and my beam, everything,'' Anderson said of her injury.
She has to wear a restrictive back brace even when she's not competing. That's still a better option than what she went through earlier this season when she had to sit out all of February. Normally, she has the talent to compete in the state meet in any of the four events, but this year she almost didn't have a chance at all.
``It stinks because I had to watch everybody compete and I couldn't,'' she said. ``It doesn't really hurt when I have the brace on, but when I take it off it's really sore.''
Anderson said doctors have told her it could heal in a month or a year -- after the season is over. Saturday was only the second meet all year when she was able to compete in the all-around, and she finished 10th.
No. 2-ranked Bishop Dwenger won its seventh consecutive sectional title with a 112.200 score, followed by No. 9 Carroll with a 106.775. The real competition came for third place and the final spot in Friday's Huntington North Regional. Jay County scored 102.175 to edge Homestead's 101.725, Huntington North's 101.175 and Northrop's 100.400.
The top three teams and top six individuals in each event advance to the regional.
The top individual winners were Maria Trahin of Bishop Dwenger who won the vault with a 9.575, the bars with a 9.625 and the all-around with a 36.7. Teammate Katy Linvill won the beam with a 9.525 and finished second in the all-around in 37.55. Dwenger's Alexis Eddy also won the floor exercise with a 9.575.
Carroll was led by Sydney Ulrey's 36.35 in the all-around, Delaney Garland's 9.4 on the vault and Ulrey and Morgan Moehle scoring 9.25 on the beam.
Other top local individual performances include Lauren Wagner of Northrop scoring 35.625 in the all-around, and Homestead's Katelynn Chaffee joining Anderson with a 9.325 on the vault.
Concordia Lutheran Sectional
BISHOP DWENGER 112.200, CARROLL 106.775, JAY COUNTY 102.175, HOMESTEAD 101.725, HUNTINGTON NORTH 101.175, NORTHROP 100.400, MARION 96.350, HERITAGE 95.700, SNIDER 95.425, WAYNE 71.925, SOUTH SIDE 65.325, CONCORDIA 61.00, NORTH SIDE 36.475
Vault: 1. Trahin (BD) 9.575; 2. Garland (CA) 9.4; 3. Gillig (BD) 9.35; 4. Chaffee (HO) 9.325; 4. Anderson (HE) 9.325; 6. Linvill (BD) 9.30.
Bars: 1. Trahin (BD) 9.625; 2. Linvill (BD) 9.550; 3. Nix (BD) 8.9; 4. Ulrey (CA) 8.725; 5. Smith (JC) 8.7; 6. Freise (HN) 8.65.
Beam: 1. Linvill (BD) 9.525; 2. Moehle (CA) 9.25; 2. Ulrey (CA) 9.25; 2. Wagner (NR) 9.25; 5. Snyder (HN) 9.2; 5. Murphy (MA) 9.2; 5. Chilian (BD) 9.2.
Floor: 1. Eddy (BD) 9.575; 2. Trahin (BD) 9.35; 2. Schoenlein (JC) 9.35; 4. Murphy (MA) 9.25; 5. Ulrey (CA) 9.25; 6. Linvill (BD) 9.175.
All-around: 1. Trahin (BD) 37.6; 2. Linvill (BD) 37.55; 3. Ulrey (CA) 36.35; 4. Wagner (NR) 35.625; 5. Snyder (HN) 35.075; 6. Murphy (MA) 35.05; 6. Schoenlein (JC) 35.05.